By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
In order to help ensure the cultivation of marksmanship at the ground level, the CMP appoints State Directors to oversee programs in each of the 50 states. The mission of the State Directors is to provide leadership, resource and program information, coordination, networking, motivation and publicity for junior shooting within his or her state. Find out who your CMP State Director is by visiting https://thecmp.org/training-tech/state-director/. Feel free to contact your State Director at any time with questions, comments or concerns.
Gregg and Diane Rice from Columbia City, Ind., are the duo that leads CMP programs in Indiana. As State Directors, the two extend combined personal experience and motivated drive to the Hoosier State. Gregg has been a precision rifle coach since 2006, a 4-H rifle instructor and is certified in a number of areas, including Level 1 Rifle Official, Chief RSO and Advanced Rifle Coach. Diane’s qualifications include director of the Northeast Indiana sector of the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association, and she is also certified as a Chief RSO and Level 1 Coach. Additionally, she is an instructor for the NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim program, which gives tips and techniques on how to be alerted to dangerous situations and on how to avoid criminal confrontation. The pair also co-founded “The X Count” shooting team and have witnessed the development of 50+ Junior Olympians and several national-level athletes from the state of Indiana.
How important is fundraising towards youth shooting, and what are some things you do to fundraise? What has been most successful?
“It is critically important to have a fundraising coordinator in every club. In smaller clubs, this can also be the coach, but the best thing to do is to share the responsibility and play to the strengths of your volunteers.
The greatest things that a fundraising coordinator can do is to:
- Know your market – realize what goes best with the community or communities in which you are raising funds. Don’t try to copy other clubs whose community has significant demographic differences. I have seen clubs from the poorest of communities raise more funds more quickly than I have. I have also seen clubs from wealthy communities be more successful and raise funds with little effort. The success of both of these is that they know their market. They are playing to the demographics and habits of their community.
- Take the greatest advantage of the programs that exist. Don’t be afraid to ask permission to be creative and utilize the programs that exist, to their spirit. Program administrators actually enjoy hearing your creative ideas, and programs have altered their rules because of the suggestions I have made.
- You will hear this often from our program. Always strive to be better. Never stop learning. Our community foundation offers extensive workshops of varying lengths to help you network and improve your fundraising skills.”
On that note, what do you think gives Indiana programs an edge in the shooting sports world? What do you do that you’re especially proud of?
“The best thing Indiana has is a great rifle facility. The ability to host matches that are held to the same standard as the international competitions improves the image of the sport and brings in more participants.
Indiana is, by far, not the top. There are a number of states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia and others that have more high school teams and clubs than Indiana. Indiana also has a supportive political environment. This comes back to knowing your market. We don’t face the same resistance as other states might in starting new teams.”
What kind of relationship do you have with the MidwayUSA Foundation (an organization focused on helping to raise funds for youth shooting activities), and how do you use contributions from them?
“We have a very personal relationship with the MidwayUSA Foundation. Two important points in building this relationship are to work closely with your state partner and to know your regional program manager. These are Jon Linquist, Northwest; Sara Hall, Southwest; Jeff McClure, Southeast; and Jay McClatchey, Northeast. We use every resource they have to offer and try to maximize the gain. The harder you work, the harder they are willing to work for you.”
What are some ideas you have for keeping juniors interested in shooting sports? How do you get other juniors interested in joining?
“We advertise. We use yard signs. We use social media. We make sure our athletes are talking to their friends and family. We make sure celebrations of accomplishments by our clubs and athletes are shared publicly. We do press releases. When you do press releases, you must follow up by phone or have a direct email connection to a reporter or manager. Use any connection you have to get to know someone in the press. Write the story for them. They are pressed for time, and when you can do most of the work, you make it easy for them. Juniors stay interested for two reasons: one, their friends are there, and two, they are working towards something bigger.
Belong to all the shooting blogs or Facebook Groups (i.e. 10.9 it’s what we train to do, American Competitive Smallbore and Air Rifle League, and Coaching and Positive Insights) that are giving free seminars and regular tips by discipline.
In addition, USA Shooting has offered a library (https://www.usashooting.org/11-resources/usas-online-library). Work on your mental game by reading books, such as:
- The Power of Thought
- Win at Losing
- Raise Your Game
- A Shot at History
- 13 Things Mentally Strong People Do
- Leaders Eat Last
- The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive
- Evolve Your Brain: The Science of the Changing Your Mind
- The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
- Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most
- Multipliers Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Any other advice?
“Involve as many helpers as you can. Play to the strengths of the volunteers available to you, but set good limits.”
To learn more about Gregg and Diane Rice and to view their contact info, visit the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/cmp-state-director/in/.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.